From A Friend.
We want dead gadget stories!
We would love to receive stories showing clearly how products simply can’t be fixed or upgraded, because of clear choices made by the product designers.
Please send your stories to Stories@deadgadgets.com and include the following information:
•Make and model
•Year they bought it. Is it under warranty?
•Why it’s dead. (Doesn’t turn on, won’t reboot, can’t upgrade it to run certain software, etc)
•Steps taken to try to fix it, or cost to fix it. (Making the call to get an estimate on what it would cost to fix it (vs replace it) is good. But actually getting the company to say they WON'T sell you a replacement part gets to the heart of the issue. So that’s an extra step, but if you could ask them to document this, it will help us tell this story. Feel free to include whom they spoke with at the companies, so there can be no question of misunderstanding.)
•Picture of the dead gadget. (Be sure we can see the manufacturer name or logo!) For our dead gadget gallery (soon to come).
Saturday, March 29, 2008
From A Friend.
So tonight was Earth Day and I totally dropped the ball. I knew about it, had it in my mind to post about, and somehow totally missed posting about it. Hopefully folks picked up on it on there own. Basically at 8 PM local time they asked folks to turn off all unnecessary power for an hour to show what an effect this can have on CO2. The first one a year ago was highly successful and they were hoping for 100 million to do so this year.
Friday, March 28, 2008
Looking for a cool gift for that someone special in your life? Darwin Design is a company started by my friend/photograpaher/journalist Otto Pohl. They have a really great business model that includes social and enviro causes and have these great shirts that sell the message about global warming and the mess we're in. And if you order before April 1, you get $10 off. Also, mention my name and they'll hear you mentioning my name (hehe....see because you probably thought that I...oh never mind).
Here's a very cool story from the WSJ about how effective windpower in Denmark is and how it looks like they actually NEED electric vehicles to keep the system working well. Talk about a win win situation.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
For those of you who have seen Who Killed The Electric Car you already know that the EV1 was made because of the California Zero Emission Mandate tht called for each car maker to make a certain number of electric cars. The car companies sued the state of California and had the mandate repealed, and the cars were destroyed.
It’s been about 5 years since EV proponents stood here and unsuccessfully pleaded with this board to keep the original ZEV program numbers for electric cars. So what has happened in those 5 years?
According to the World Health Organization, tens of thousands of Americans died as a result of auto related pollution in each one of those 5 years.
Since 2003, the US has spent over a trillion dollars for foreign oil. The burn rate is well over a billion dollars a day and climbing fast.
The price of gas 5 years ago was $1.40. It’s now $4.00. Even the oil industry has agreed that peak oil will occur within the coming decade. Bush’s multiple entreaties to the Saudis over the past three months to increase production have all been denied. In times of both record prices and record demand for oil, the only possible reason that the Saudis will not increase production is because they cannot. According to Matthew Simmons in, “Twilight In the Desert”, if the Saudis have peaked, the globe has peaked.
We’ve spent close to a trillion dollars fighting a war in Iraq, and we all know we’re there because of the oil under their ground. The Chinese are buying oil contracts all over the world with the intent to lock up as much of this resource as possible for their own growing needs.
Over the past 5 years, the scientific evidence of climate change has become widely accepted, and according to NASA’s James Hansen, we are rapidly approaching a tipping point, after which, we cannot stop significant climate change.
If 100% of the vehicles sold every year were ZEVs, it would still take over 20 years to convert the American fleet to zero emission. The auto industry sold about 85 million vehicles in the US over the past 5 years. Not one of those vehicles was Zero Emission.
Carmakers say they cannot build EVs fast enough to meet the goals in the current regulation, but I’ll remind you that in 1941, the entire auto industry switched inside of 12 months to making tanks and planes for the war effort. I submit that the problems we are facing today are every bit as crucial as then.
The consequences of delaying implementation of ZEVs, means more Americans will die from pollution, we will move closer to the devastating tipping point of climate change, and more billions of our dollars will go out of the country, with much of that money going to buy the bombs and the bullets that will kill our soldiers.
The decision you are making today is historic. Whether you choose to continue down the hydrogen highway on the hopes that fuel cells will solve these problems is a huge gamble. The clock is ticking, however, and I’ll remind you that the capital you are using in this gamble is the environment, our national security and human lives.
I ask that you please vote with this in mind.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
This is Subaru's R1e, a two seater EV that they are presently testing in North America, Asia, and Europe. It has about a 50 mile range, top speed of 65 mph and can recharge 85% in...get this....15 minutes! Amazing. Check it out here and then scroll down and tell them your thoughts.
Live Sustainably (and drive a small ev)
Looks like electric cars are getting closer and closer. Mitsubishi has announced plans to test it's new EV in the states this fall.
Presently max speed is 80 and range is about 80 miles between recharges which will take about 10 hours on 110v house power. And while this will most likely improve over time, this is more than enough for almost all second cars, and for most first cars to boot.
And if you want EVs sooner than later, check out Subaru's R1e and then let them know what you think about it at the bottom of the page.
Here's a cool website I came across recently. The Eat Well Guide is an online resource where you type in your zip code and they come up with a list of different companies in your area that serve healthy organic foods. A quick type of my zip came up with 1 Baker, 1 Farmer, 49 Stores, 1 Co-Op, 21 Restaurants, and 1 Organization all within 20 miles of me. And they even have ratings like a water droplet to indicate establishments that are water conscious. Very cool and anything that makes it easier to make informed choices is, in my book, a good thing. Of course, you should check into the establishments yourself as well, but from what I saw of the places I know, this is a pretty good dealio.
Packing peanuts. If you are anything like me you hate these things, but somewhere deep in the recess of a closet, you have a large bag of them waiting to be sent off to some unknown destination. Come on, you know who you are.
Well fear not, friendly peanut hater. While they may keep coming at ya whether you like it or not, there are now options. For starters, stop buying so much stuff online (kidding, well, not really, but....anyway). Check out the Plastic Loose Fill Council which believe it or not actually offers a hotline and online resource to find places to return these things where they will actually get re-used. Get that, re-used, not recycled or re- whatevered, but re-used for the purpose they were originally made for. Cool huh? I wish they'd stop making these things in the first place but if they are going to, at least they can get re-used so less of them need to be made.
And if you're looking to gripe on the subject, check out this I Hate Packing Peanuts website.
Live Sustainably (and stop buying so much stuff on the Internet)
What an absolutely fantastic idea this is. Ripon College in Wisconsin is offering incoming freshman free Trek bicycles if they pledge to not drive to campus for the first year. The school is giving away 200 bikes, helmets and locks in exchange for a no car promise.
How cool is this. Everyone wins (except of course for the poor kid who has to bicycle to school in a blizzard, but I digress). The school doesn't need to come up with new parking, the kids get more excercise, the bike lock and helmet companies get free advertising and product recognition, and a significant amount of CO2 is taken out of the equation. I love this!
A similar thought occurred to me the other day as I was riding the bus. How great would it be for the gov. to lower bus fairs as gas prices rise? Right off the bat, it would help the poor who make up the largest numbers of bus riders, but slowly over time, I think it would encourage others to start taking the bus rather than driving.
Bottom line is I think that incentives to ride bikes or use mass transit are in order to help get us off of oil and onto the next level.
My two cents and huzzah to Ripon.